Biden says he’d meet with Trump ‘if he asked’
President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday said he would be open to meeting with President Trump as part of the transition, even as Trump has refused to publicly accept the results of the election.
“Of course I would, if he asked,” Biden told reporters when asked if he would meet with Trump.
The White House declined to comment on the record about whether there had been any outreach to Biden’s team about a meeting.
Outgoing presidents have traditionally welcomed their successors into the White House to offer support in the transition between administrations. Trump visited then-President Obama roughly a week after the 2016 election.
Trump has yet to concede the race more than two weeks after Biden was projected the winner by The Associated Press and all major news networks and as states begin certifying their election results. He has instead sowed doubt about the outcome and spread false claims about voter fraud.
Still, the transition is moving forward, in some cases with Trump’s approval.
The General Services Administration on Monday informed Biden and his team that the formal transition could begin, freeing up federal resources and services to aid in the process. Trump then tweeted that he had signed off on the move, though he later insisted he was not conceding.
The president on Tuesday approved Biden to receive classified intelligence reports, the latest sign the White House is allowing the transition to move forward.
A spokesperson for the Office of Director of National Intelligence said Tuesday afternoon that the White House gave the agency permission to provide Biden with the President’s Daily Brief to aid in the transition process.
Trump and Biden have not met in person since the final presidential debate in late October. The two men spoke on the phone early in the coronavirus pandemic. Trump described that conversation as “warm” and “friendly.”